"The New Czars' Greg Hampton worked with Alice Cooper, P!nk, and Bruce Dickinson." - Interview

The New Czars’ new album, “Doomsday Revolution” is in stores now. Greg Hampton, lead singer of the band, worked with big time musicians like Alice Cooper, P!nk, and Bruce Dickinson prior to starting The New Czars. Hampton recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk about the band, the new album, and the state of the music today.

Q – Thanks Greg, for doing this.

A - No problem. Thank you for the nice review.

Q – First off, where did the name The New Czars come from?

A - Was stuck in traffic on the Sunset Strip one night and it just popped into my head
for some reason - not really sure why. Maybe a correlation with the world in general changing.

Q – You worked with a number of musicians prior to putting together The New Czars. How did working with Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, Buckethead, Bruce Dickinson, P!nk, Courtney Love, and Puddle of Mudd influence the sound of The New Czars?

A - I don’t think it influenced the sound because it was my own thing - it was very liberating because I was coming up with tons of cool ideas and they didn’t really fit any of those other artists that I had been working with.

Q – The new album is called “Doomsday Revolution.” My colleague reviewed it saying that it was experimental in the sense that it didn’t really fit into any genre. How would you describe the album’s sound?

A - DEEP! It’s all the things I truly enjoy; am a big fan of classic rock trailblazers like Hendrix and the Beatles, Deep Purple w/Tommy Bolin, Rush, Todd Rundgren, ZZ Top, progressive music and 70's instrumental fusion made a big impression on me. As a child someone had given me a copy of Led Zep’s first record as a gift; I was so young I still believed in Santa. My CD collection has everything from Aerosmith to Lightnin’ Hopkins to Frank Zappa, The Beatles, Grand Funk, James Brown, Ministry, Neil Young, Prince, Allman Brothers, Moby, Albert King, Crystal Method, Nine inch Nails, Rammstein. Am really into experimenting, with lots of guitar pedals and synths, different types guitars and instruments may spark an idea for inspiration. So it’s a never ending process of exploration and sound manipulation. May start a song with a bass guitar part I lay down and a conga part for a foundation, an electric sitar with a piano, lap steel - who knows?

Q – Talk about the making of the album.

A - Was a very organic process. The only real obstacle was having to leave to buy groceries and water every so often! And go into town to catch a flight every now - and then to wherever. Went to Nashville for a week and recorded Adrian Belew’s guitar soundscaping.

Q – There are 16 songs on this album. How do you decide which song(s) become lead singles or videos?

A - Unfortunately we had other people help pick, which from now on probably won’t be happening again – at least for any record I am involved in! It’s such a strange climate at radio these days and some of these songs are not your normal run of the mill toe tappers. Will be very interested to hear what Europe thinks on the radio scenario (street date is October 18th). The video stuff we have so far is just in the studio capturing ‘in the moment’ performances. There is a pretty amazing video being cut for the title track though.

Q – How would you describe the musical landscape today?

A - Confusing! There seems to be something that gets the public’s attention for a minute - then a bunch of bands pick up on it, and try to mimic it – then BAM! On to the next thing. I try not to pay too much attention but again, that’s been going on for 40 years, art imitates art.

Q – If we were to turn on your MP3 player, what artist would we find that would be a shock to fans?

A - Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.”

Q – Thanks again for taking the time to do this. Is there anything you wanted to add?

A – It’s really a strange time for all music business but the thing is, working musicians feed their families with this music so please think of those terms before you steal music. The direct to consumer approach is becoming very effective, but the record companies didn’t go into biz for the artists to get rich. It’s going to be a very interesting transition. I never thought would change my opinion on this but the major retailers are just clueless; you walk in there and the employees are walking around like zombies. At least the ‘mom and pop’ stores or independent chains you still feel a positive energy when you walk in there and find stuff that you always wanted and couldn’t find. So we shall see what happens; I will continue writing music and working with interesting artists as long as I can.

Check out the review of “Doomsday Revolution” here: “If you like Nine Inch Nails and King Crimson, you’ll like The New Czars’ ‘Doomsday Revolution.’” – Music Review.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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Anonymous said...

Good Luck Greg, I am looking forward to hearing the New Czars!


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